Brooke Bakken

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Weddings  |  Families  |  Editorial

The Blog

Today on the blog, I’m giving you the tea on my photography. Hope you enjoy!

And So it Begins

Growing up, my mom was CONSTANTLY taking our picture! I have a HUGE baby book, chock full of baby pictures and you should SEE the number of prints (and double prints) my mom has of my sister and I at her house. Nothing went undocumented (think Christmas pictures, Easter dresses, first day of school pics times 17!) We were dressed up like twins (despite being almost 5 years apart….THANKS, MOM!) and we have pictures upon pictures.

Were they all in focus? Nope! Did they have any sort of composition? Nope again! But honestly, I LOVE how much we can look back on our childhood and know exactly what life was like back then because of the photos my mom took. To me, that’s all that matters!

My First Photography Class

Fast forward through life a couple of years until high school. There were no phones, no social media, but I took photography classes! I not only loved the time we got to go out and take pictures (aka not spending time in a classroom), but I was also CONSTANTLY the girl with a camera on hand or in her bag. The point and shoot disposable cameras did me well.

Travel further down the line and I’m going to Italy for the first time. I buy a really “fancy” point and shoot camera to take beautiful pictures (ha!!).

I think you get the point- my pictures haven’t always been beautiful or high quality, but I have always had a love for photography (truly without it even hitting me!).

But then I got married….and our wedding photos had me like “WOW!!”

I was soaking up all things “photo” and truly wanted to take beautiful pictures like my wedding photographer (turned real-life friend) Carly! She was KILLING it and I picked her brain SO MUCH! She was so sweet and answered all my annoying texts…and then my mom bought a big girl DSLR camera and changed the game….

Or so I thought!

A Little Photography Lesson for You

Newsflash: You can have a high quality camera (totally top of the line) but shooting on auto WILL NOT get you the images you are after. And I found that out really quick! 

Here are some fun before and afters of Brady, my oldest, from when I started to where I am now! 
Family Session | Utah Family Photos | Salt Flats Utah | Utah Lifestyle Photographer | Utah Family Photographer | What to Wear for Family Photos | Brooke Bakken Photography | www.brookebakken.comFamily Session | Utah Family Photos | Salt Flats Utah | Utah Lifestyle Photographer | Utah Family Photographer | What to Wear for Family Photos | Brooke Bakken Photography | www.brookebakken.com

The Great Photography Leap

Like I mentioned above, photography has just always been part of my life growing up, and while I didn’t have my “A-HA!” moment until after college. I’m so grateful I found what I love and what I’m passionate about. The one thing I wish I could go back and tell myself would be this: HAVE PATIENCE with yourself. Stop comparing your beginning to someone’s middle (or what feels like a beautiful and established business). I wanted BEAUTIFUL, heartwarming images RIGHT AWAY and would get so frustrated with myself when I would read blogs or see images online of what I WANTED so badly for my images to be, and would get so frustrated that mine didn’t look like that. I wish I would have tuned out the “trends” and just tried to learn, shoot and edit to what I loved.
Educator | Content Creation | Photography Tips | Women in Business | Fempreneur | Photography for Beginners | Photography for Moms | Moms Photography | Momtographer | Brooke Bakken Photography | Utah Family Photographer | www.brookebakken.comEducator | Content Creation | Photography Tips | Women in Business | Fempreneur | Photography for Beginners | Photography for Moms | Moms Photography | Momtographer | Brooke Bakken Photography | Utah Family Photographer | www.brookebakken.comEducator | Content Creation | Photography Tips | Women in Business | Fempreneur | Photography for Beginners | Photography for Moms | Moms Photography | Momtographer | Brooke Bakken Photography | Utah Family Photographer | www.brookebakken.com
 

Self-Taught Trial & Error

As a self-taught photog, I truly was totally winging it. “Trial and Error” was pretty much the backbone of the beginning of my business. I was SO lucky to have incredible friends that not only asked me to shoot portraits for their family, but paid me (I cringe about it now) to do it. They valued me and my time (and what felt like a lack of talent!). But how grateful I am for the opportunities given to me in the beginning. I didn’t take a SINGLE business class in college. Ha, I just used Turbo Tax when it came to doing my taxes, and I had no idea what “Business Insurance” was. But I was ON FIRE and truly had a hustle attitude. I was DETERMINED to make this new passion turn into a profitable business. I Googled, Youtubed, joined Facebook groups, and shadowed other photographers. I held bags, worked for free, and basically engulfed myself in all things PHOTOGRAPHY!

Family Session | Utah Family Photos | Salt Flats Utah | Utah Lifestyle Photographer | Utah Family Photographer | What to Wear for Family Photos | Brooke Bakken Photography | www.brookebakken.comFamily Session | Utah Family Photos | Salt Flats Utah | Utah Lifestyle Photographer | Utah Family Photographer | What to Wear for Family Photos | Brooke Bakken Photography | www.brookebakken.comFamily Session | Utah Family Photos | Salt Flats Utah | Utah Lifestyle Photographer | Utah Family Photographer | What to Wear for Family Photos | Brooke Bakken Photography | www.brookebakken.comFamily Session | Utah Family Photos | Salt Flats Utah | Utah Lifestyle Photographer | Utah Family Photographer | What to Wear for Family Photos | Brooke Bakken Photography | www.brookebakken.com

Why I Love Being a Photographer

I love being a photographer as much today as I did the very first year in my business. While my business looks different now than it did back then (thank heavens), it’s still something I am SO EFFING PROUD OF!!! I built this. I took a passion and turned it into a business. I built something from the ground up. I pushed myself to find answers when I felt stuck. I worked two jobs, while also being a mom. I sacrificed sleep to make sure I was hitting deadlines both for my full-time job and the clients I loved dearly. I have missed out on anniversaries, birthdays and countless date nights/girls night outs…but I wouldn’t change it for the world. My children have seen their mom go after her dreams. My children have seen the sacrifice life calls for sometimes. My children have seen me create something for myself and see (hopefully) all the extras we can give them with the income I bring to the table. While I have so many accomplishments I am proud of, these are the ones that mean the most.

So with that being said….2020 is OUR YEAR! This is the year I bring all my knowledge full circle and help YOU! Maybe you don’t want to start a photo business (that’s totally ok!!) but you want better images of your kids, your nieces or nephews, your dogs, your food for your blog….whatever it is, I want to help!! I want to be the person you DM because you can’t seem to get your settings right or find the answer you are looking for in google. Or maybe you are a visual learner and just need someone to show you or walk you through things…I got you boo boo. I’m here for it and I’m here for YOU!

Download Your Photography Freebie!

Does your camera feel like a mystery to you? Have no fear! I’ve got you covered, sis. Click here to snag dibs on my photography cheat sheet guide on how to work your camera in all the right ways so that you can start capturing the photos your heart longs for!

 

Today on the blog, I am sharing my three golden rules to goal setting. If you’re a dreamer like me, I hope you find them just as helpful as I did!

A Look at 2019

2020 is officially HERE and chances are, you’ve already got those 2020 goals piling up in your mind. And maybe, just maybe (if you’re anything like me), you’re taking a good, hard look at the 2019 goals that didn’t get accomplished. Such is LIFE! Am I right or am I right?!

2019 was a hard and beautiful year for me. Looking back on all the things I went through, I learned so much about myself as a businesswoman, mother, and person that I truly value and appreciate as we move into 2020. In fact, one of my largest takeaways for the year was learning how to take a step back and outsource some of my behind the scenes work tasks so that I could truly hone in on showing up and serving my people to the best of my ability. This was, by far, the BEST thing I did for myself this year.

The Three Golden Rules to Goal Setting

  1. When setting BIG goals, make sure you include small, milestone goals within them! For example, if you are a creative and you want to create a product to sell in 2020, break that goal down by writing out what needs to get done and when each task needs to get done by in order to hit your big goal of launching it by said date! Setting small, milestone goals as a measurable means to get one step closer to achieving your big goal will help fuel your fire to really make it happen.
  2. Be SMART about your goals. Have you heard of this before? It’s extremely helpful! Let me break it down for ya: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time Bound. The SMART method is great for taking the goals that have been floating around in your head for what seems like forever and writing them down in ways that are realistically achievable. I don’t know about you, but I am all about working smarter, not harder! So, to the genius that created the SMART method, thank you for being a freaking genius!!
  3. Schedule in time to work toward your goals. Here’s the tea: goals aren’t achieved overnight. They take time, effort and serious commitment. Don’t just assume you are going to get your goals done in your free time. Chances are, if you don’t write it in and make sure it happens, something else will pop up that needs your attention during your “free time”. Schedule it in and make it happen! Dreams don’t work unless YOU do!

Great Goal Resources

While chasing after my goals this year, I ran into some incredible resources along the way…AKA Rachel Hollis! Her two books, Girl, Wash Your Face and Girl, Stop Apologizing, were my bread and butter this year, and you better believe I am re-reading them for 2020!

Something I have decided to do in 2020 is keep a gratitude journal. It’s really easy to get caught up in the chaos of life that you forget to acknowledge the blessings that surround you. I’m totally guilty of this and ready to take charge of ensuring I don’t fall into this same trap come the New Year! Fun fact: I purchased the hard copy AND the digital version of my gratitude journal because I’m not sure which version I will take to more. I’ll be sure to let ya know though, haha!

Did You Enjoy This Read?

If so, be sure to check out the 2019 family bucket list my family and I took on this year! Find it here.

Best of luck chasing those goals, friend!! Cheers to a great year!

I am thrilled to share “The Best of Brooke” with you today on the blog! The end of the year is already in sight and I can hardly believe it! Before we step into the start of a new decade, let’s take some time to celebrate the things we achieved within this decade and year, shall we? I’ll kick us off!

The Best of Brooke

You may or may not already know this but in November 2010, I SOLD my engagement ring to buy a camera.

Michael and I had been married for exactly a year when we welcomed our very sweet (and VERY unexpected) little boy, Brady.

My mom came to witness the birth of her first grandchild and you better believe we took a BAJILLION pictures once he arrived (that’s not an exact number…but pretty dang close). Before she came, she purchased a brand new DSLR and my love for beautiful photos met with a desire to have them of our newest addition.

As newlyweds with a newborn and NO extra money to spend, the hubs and I agreed it was the most logical thing to do in order for me to have my dream camera!

Once I got the camera in my hands, there was no looking back. And that is how Brooke Bakken Photography came to be!

A Special Thank You

The other day, I went to see what my top nine Instagram posts were for 2019. I was surprised to find out my top posts were not related to my work but instead who I am as a person- whether it’s business-related, momma related or a very realistic glimpse into my personal life. Because let’s be honest, this world needs more #realtalk and I’m more than happy to help fill the gap!

I am so grateful for each of you! To be able to have the opportunity to show up and share my heart’s passion with you all is a truly invaluable gift.

To all of my wonderful clients who I have had the privilege of serving from the very beginning of my business to now, Brooke Bakken Photography exists especially because of you! Thank you for allowing me to capture the moments that matter for you and your families.

2019 has been a beautiful and hard year. My greatest accomplishment from this year would have to be learning how to know my limit and when to ask for help. This year, I took the leap and outsourced some of my work to my AMAZING virtual assistant, Elle, and I am SO glad I did!! I am a major people pleaser and rarely say no in fear of disappointing or letting someone down. Allowing someone into my business so that I could grow it and let it thrive at the same time is 110% what I am most proud of!! In addition, having a cover issue of Utah Valley Bride Magazine for 2019 was THE perfect way to cap off the decade and such a fun way to look back at where I started compared to where I am at now!

I’ll be sharing my 2020 goals later this week, but in the meantime here are my “The Best of Brooke” blog posts of the year!! Enjoy! And Happy almost New Year!!

The Best of Brooke 2019

1. Old Dobbin Station Wedding 

2. Spring Cleaning – Get it Together

3. A Birth Story

4. Thanksgiving Point Family Session

5. Timpanogos Reservoir Bridal Session

6. The Chung Family

7. What to Wear for Family Photos 

8. Sunset Cliffs Engagement Session

9. Utah County Family Session

10. Building Strong Marriages

This week, my husband and I are celebrating TEN wonderful years of marriage in Paris! That being said, today’s post is a special one. In it, I’m sharing my original vows to the hubs. As life has changed and we have grown — both, as a couple and individually — my vows and promises to him have also changed. This is because I did not know then what I know now. And I know we still have plenty to learn! However, I had lots of fun looking back and reading my original vows and am excited to share them with you today.

In addition, I am also sharing a beautiful Mission San Juan Capistrano vow renewal session I captured for some dear, sweet friends.

Let’s get this party started!

Personal Vows

I, Brooke, take you, Michael, to be my husband, my partner in life and my one true love. You are the most genuine, loving and honest man I have ever known. You inspire me and help me to strive to be the best person I can be. I promise to encourage you to achieve all your goals and reach your potential in all that you do. I promise to laugh with you, cry with you and grow with you in mind and spirit. vow to always be open and honest and faithful to you. And finally, I promise to love you unconditionally, in good times and in bad, with all that I have to give, with all that I am. in the only way I know how, completely and forever. 

Vow Renewal Session

I was able to capture Jaime and Ryan’s 12 year vow renewals a few years ago and we had an absolute BLAST. They didn’t need a huge crowd or a hundred guests to hear their continued promises, just each other and someone to document it. And document it we did!

Earlier this year, however, Ryan was in a terrible plane accident. Thankfully, he pulled through (cue ALL the praise hands), but it was undoutedtebly a scary time for him and Jaime. That being said, whether you are renewing your vows for 6 years, 8 years, or the big 1-0, there is no better time than now to let each other know how much you are cared for and loved by the other. Because the truth is, we are not promised tomorrow.

Jaime and Ryan, thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing me into your lives and giving me the honor of being able to capture something so special. I feel like the luckiest girl to call you friends and I can’t wait to see where your marriage continues to take you guys!

Keep the Good Feels Going

If you enjoyed Jaime and Ryan’s vow renewal, be sure to check out their maternity session here!

Renew Your Vows Today

Looking for a photographer to capture your vow renewals? Contact me today and I’ll be glad to answer any questions you have!

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San Juan Capistrano | California Wedding Photographer | Utah Wedding Photographer | Destination Wedding Photographer | Brooke Bakken Photography | www.brookebakken.com  Vow Renewal Ideas | Vow Renewal Dress | Vow Renewal Ceremony | Vow Renewal Ideas 10 Year | Mission San Juan Capistrano | California Wedding Photographer | Utah Wedding Photographer | Destination Wedding Photographer | Brooke Bakken Photography | www.brookebakken.com  Vow Renewal Ideas | Vow Renewal Dress | Vow Renewal Ceremony | Vow Renewal Ideas 10 Year | Mission San Juan Capistrano | California Wedding Photographer | Utah Wedding Photographer | Destination Wedding Photographer | Brooke Bakken Photography | www.brookebakken.com  Vow Renewal Ideas | Vow Renewal Dress | Vow Renewal Ceremony | Vow Renewal Ideas 10 Year | Mission San Juan Capistrano | California Wedding Photographer | Utah Wedding Photographer | Destination Wedding Photographer | Brooke Bakken Photography | www.brookebakken.com Vow Renewal Ideas | Vow Renewal Dress | Vow Renewal Ceremony | Vow Renewal Ideas 10 Year | Mission San Juan Capistrano | California Wedding Photographer | Utah Wedding Photographer | Destination Wedding Photographer | Brooke Bakken Photography | www.brookebakken.com 

 

 

Bonjour, friends! This week, my husband and I are off to PARIS to celebrate our TEN YEAR anniversary! I have been counting down the days to this trip ever since we booked it. I seriously cannot believe it’s here! That being said, I wanted to share a look into my suitcase and a few of my favorite travel tips as well. Cheers!

My Favorite Travel Trips

1. Make Copies

Let’s be honest. A lost ID or passport is at the top of everyone’s fear list. Take a clear photo of important documents with your cell phone or camera and email them to yourself and whoever else you are traveling with. Print a copy, too. If you lose either of these things while traveling, you will still be able to supply ID and passport numbers, check into your hotel and continue with your vacation.

2. Use Zipper File Bags

A solid zipper file bag will protect your electronics from spills, rain, and other hazards and you’ll avoid having to deal with tangled cords..

3. Fold the Marie Condo Way

You need to fold your clothes, the Marie Kondo way. You’ll be so glad you did. I promise.

4.  Use Multiple SD Cards Instead of Just One 

If you use SD cards to store your travel photos, it’s better to buy multiple smaller cards than a big one. If you lose one, you will still be able to recover some of your photos from the other cards.

5. Use Google Maps Offline

This little travel life hack is ingenious. It is so useful if you lose your data connection unexpectedly. You will never get lost! All you have to do to use Google Maps offline is download and open the app on your phone while you are connected online, find the place you are looking for, then click on the 3 little dots on your screen and select “Download offline map”.  BAM. You’re welcome.

6. Talk to Your Bank

The last thing you want is to be eating at a restaurant and have your card declined. Banks look out for their clients, so don’t be surprised if your account is flagged if you do not talk to your bank before traveling.  Any spending in areas that are unusual will give way for your bank to contact you. Do yourself a favor and let your bank know ahead of time about your travel plans. That way, you can avoid being stuck in another country with no money altogether!

What’s in My Travel Luggage

First thing first, let’s talk cameras. I couldn’t go travel across the globe without my film camera! So, in addition to my Nikon I made sure to pack my Pentax 645. With it, I will be shooting Portra film, which I will have developed at The Find Lab.

Now, let’s talk clothes and toiletries.  All of the outfits you see pictured below are courtesy of my two favorite places: Madewell and J. Crew. As for toiletries, the ones worth mentioning are the Tide to Go pens and Poo-Pourri. Tide to Go pens are perfect for those unexpected stains- especially since we are not bringing our entire wardrobe with us. As for the Poo-Pourri, you never know what you’re walking into when it comes to public restrooms. This stuff really works, and I’m going to leave it at that!

Finally, I have saved the best for last! I am PUMPED to be traveling with my Sly Beauty Cosmetics bag!! You guys, this travel makeup bag is EVERYTHING. I can fit so much makeup in it while also keeping it organized. Not only that, but it’s also pretty to look at. Truth be told, it was my favorite thing to back. Take my advice and go get you one!!

 

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What to Wear as a Wedding Vendor

As a wedding vendor, it can be easy to get bored with a black on black wardrobe. When I got married, every single onf of my vendors wore black. To this day, it is still deemed as “vendor appropriate”.

My wedding planner was a different story, however. Dalise LOVES the color purple. Every time we met, the gal had something purple on. Whether it was her lavender colored nails or a cardigan to go alongside her blouse, purple was always involved. The way she kept purple by her side at all times as a wedding vendor totally inspired me.

Color Me Happy

While black is slimming and beautiful — because let’s be honest, black is AMAZING — it’s just not me. If you know me, you know I’m loud and obnoxious (in the best way, of course!) and I have always been okay with being in the spotlight. That being said, I’m totally okay if people know who I am based off what I’m wearing.

If you were to look at my closet, the first thing you would notice is that it is completely organized by color. As much as I love monochromatic colors, I have a TON of patterns and different colors. You’ll also notice that I don’t really have a color that’s bigger than the other when it comes to my wardrobe. I have just as many grays as I do blues. I have just as many oranges as I do hunter greens. You get the picture, right? I LOVE COLORS!

That being said, I love incorporating who I am into what I wear as a professional in the wedding industry. I really am a believer in that there are plenty of ways in which you can incorporate colors and still come across as a professional without having to look boring in black. Although….my black jumpsuit (from Piper and Scoot) is a HUGE staple in my shooting wardrobe…and yes I have it in 4 colors!

My Wedding Vendor Wardrobe

When it comes to LDS weddings, there are usually about 50-100 people at the temple waiting for the bride to come out of the temple. With  temple weddings, there are multiple brides getting married at the same time. Meaning, you could have four brides getting married at the same temple with no idea as to who is going to come out first. Thus, I find myself wearing brighter pops of colors at these weddings because I want their guests to know who their photographer is amongst the crowd.

As for traditional weddings, I find myself wearing more monochromatic colors because I am literally in the center aisle and in front of so many people. However, I still keep things fun! For example, if it’s a summer wedding I’ll wear a cute skirt and a nice blouse that allows me to not die of heat. Or, I’ll wear a nice dress.

Despite what type of wedding it is that I am shooting, I like for the way I dress to show my couples that their wedding means more to me than just black jeans and a black tee shirt. I truly believe it makes them feel more valued.

Where I Shop

J. Crew (Outlet! Don’t get it twisted, I’m a mom on a budget!)
Piper and Scoot
Bohme
Roolee
Called to Surf
Gap (Occasionally)
Nordstrom (Rack)

More Inspiration

Did you enjoy this read about my wardrobe? If so, be sure to take a look at my post on Tips for Working Moms for Work & Home Life Balance!

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Are you looking for ideas to add to your summer family bucket list this year? Today on the blog, I’m sharing 15 activities to add to your list- fun for the whole family! Let’s get you off of the couch and enjoying all the things summer has to offer!

Mommin’ Ain’t Easy

“Mom” is one of THE sweetest titles I have ever had the privilege of wearing, but I would be lying if I told you it’s always filled with rainbow and unicorns.

If I’m being honest, sometimes it’s freaking HARD to find “the balance”. Perhaps this is because “the balance” I’m referring to here just does not exist. You can read more about my thoughts on that here.

Making Moments Count

I don’t know about you, but I do NOT want to be remembered as the mom who was too busy to play with her kiddos. When they look back on their childhood, I want them to remember the mom that did her best with a smile on her face…the mom who strived to be present in every moment, to the best of her ability. Will every moment be like this? Unfortunately, no. But I can certainly do better about being more intentional with the time I have with my little monsters (oops, I mean angels!) every day. That being said, I created a family summer bucket list for the kiddos and me to take on!

The Bakken Family Summer Bucket List

With the end of the school year right around the corner, I decided to get started on the ultimate family summer bucket list for this year!

I’m sharing it with you today on the blog in case you also have a bucket list and have not considered any of the things I’ve listed below. I also want to hear what’s on your bucket list that is not on mine!

Let the shenanigans begin!!

15 Summer Activities to Add to Your Family Bucket List

1. CHECK YOUR LOCAL LIBRARY FOR FREE SUMMER EVENTS

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2. ENROLL YOUR CHILD IN A DAY/OVERNIGHT CAMP OF THEIR CHOICE. (SPORTS, ART, DANCE, ETC.)

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3. WATCH FIREWORK (IT’S NOT SUMMERTIME WITHOUT FIREWORKS!!)

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4. GO FISHING

Family Pictures | Family Activities | Summer Activities for Kids | Utah Family Photographer| Family Photographer | Brooke Bakken Photography | www.brookebakken.com

5. ALL THE CRAFTS (MAKE SOME SLIME!)

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6. MAKE A LEMONADE STAND

Family Pictures | Family Activities | Summer Activities for Kids | Utah Family Photographer| Family Photographer | Brooke Bakken Photography | www.brookebakken.com

7. GO ON A NATURE HIKE

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8. CAMP OUT/ROAST S’MORES

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9. GO TO A FAIR (WE GO TO OUR LOCAL ART CITY DAYS EVERY YEAR AND THE KIDS LOVE IT!)

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10. SLIP N’ SLIDE / WATER BALLOON FIGHT / WATER GUN FIGHT

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11. PLAYDAY AND A PIZZA PARTY!

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12. PICNIC AT THE PARK

13. VISIT THE ZOO

14. THREE WORDS: DRIVE-IN MOVIE

15. CHECK OUT A KIDS MUSEUM

A Look into Our Marriage

My husband Michael and I will be celebrating ten whole years of marriage on the sixth of June this year!! We have three beautiful children together- Brady, Charlee, and Blaine. Blaine, our youngest, was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy last year. This automatically throws us into the category of “Parents of a special needs child”.  Although if you saw Blaine, you would have no idea. That is, of course, unless you were around long enough to see one of his epic meltdowns.

One day after I picked Blaine up from preschool, I received a flyer regarding a seminar for parents with special needs children. The theme of the seminar was “How to build a stronger marriage while parenting a special needs child”. Michael and I decided to go and we are so glad we did!
I’m no marriage expert, but I do feel like I can confidently say marriage is REALLY hard at times.  But when you’re first married, you just don’t realize just how hard it can be. Now don’t get me wrong, being married is THE best thing that has ever happened to me, but it is by no means perfect. Add three kids to the mix and it really takes things up a notch!

When the Going Gets Tough

Luckily for me, my husband is very loyal and steadfast. Instead of walking away when things get hard, he rolls up his sleeves and does whatever he can to help find a solution. Every single time. I may want to strangle him. I may roll my eyes at him.  I may or may not want to straight up want to punch him in the face (too much??) but he SHOWS UP when it counts.
On top of running a family and investing in our marriage, Michael and I both work full-time. And let me tell ya, finding the balance of it all has been yet another challenge for us. Sometimes we have to stop, regroup, take a deep breath, and remind each other that we love one another. We have also invested in a marriage therapist or marriage “coach” as I like to look at it! Neither of us had been married before, yet here we are trying to figure it out all alone. Therapy and having someone help us and guide us was one of THE best things we have done for our marriage and our children.
Life can really get in the way, so being able to attend this marriage seminar was truly refreshing for both of us. I am so grateful to have Michael as my husband and best friend. I am so grateful for us.  I’m excited to share our favorite takeaways with you today on the blog! Enjoy!

Family Pictures | Special Needs Mom | Special Needs Parenting | Marriage Advice | Family Session | Utah County Family Photographer | Brooke Bakken Photography | www.brookebakken.com

 

The greatest gift you can give your child[ren] is a strong relationship between the two of you.-John Gottman, PhD

The Ingredients to A Happy, Life-Long Marriage

  1. Strengthen and maintain your friendship.
  2. Manage conflict well.

*Source: The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman

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Do Small Things Often

Commit to spending time together every day (or as often as possible)— (20 minutes a day with no phones/distractions).

Find time for each other.

Build up a surplus in each other’s “emotional bank account”.

Remember that some things never change…try to take a step back and understand the other person’s perspective.

Focus on the positive (and communicate/share/positive reinforcement).

Treat your partner like you would a guest.

Don’t hack at your boat in a storm.

If you are too busy to work on your marriage, then you are TOO busy!

The advice I give to couples who sail into a storm and are fighting is: Don’t hack at your boat in a storm. If you are in the middle of a crisis, don’t take the very support you have and start whacking at it, because that is dumb. You should love, nurture, and care for that other person or you are not going to make it through the storm.”-Parent of three children with disabilities

 

Family Pictures | Special Needs Mom | Special Needs Parenting | Marriage Advice | Family Session | Utah County Family Photographer | Brooke Bakken Photography | www.brookebakken.com Family Pictures | Special Needs Mom | Special Needs Parenting | Marriage Advice | Family Session | Utah County Family Photographer | Brooke Bakken Photography | www.brookebakken.com Family Pictures | Special Needs Mom | Special Needs Parenting | Marriage Advice | Family Session | Utah County Family Photographer | Brooke Bakken Photography | www.brookebakken.com

The Characteristics of A Happy, Thriving Couple 

They prioritize and protect their marriage.

They don’t assume that they have to put 100% of themselves into their children. (I don’t think kids thrive when we put everything into them.)

They see each other as more than just parents.

They take time to connect each day.

They regularly have dates and vacations without the children — without guilt.

*Source: Today’s Parent

 

 

Family Pictures | Special Needs Mom | Special Needs Parenting | Marriage Advice | Family Session | Utah County Family Photographer | Brooke Bakken Photography | www.brookebakken.com Family Pictures | Special Needs Mom | Special Needs Parenting | Marriage Advice | Family Session | Utah County Family Photographer | Brooke Bakken Photography | www.brookebakken.com Family Pictures | Special Needs Mom | Special Needs Parenting | Marriage Advice | Family Session | Utah County Family Photographer | Brooke Bakken Photography | www.brookebakken.com

Recommended Reads

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work—John Gottman

Love Sense—Sue Johnson

The 5 Love Languages—Gary Chapman

Divorce Busting—Michele Weiner-Davis

Married with Special-Needs Children—Laura Marshak

Rise Together Podcast with Rachel & Dave Hollis

 

Family Pictures | Special Needs Mom | Special Needs Parenting | Marriage Advice | Family Session | Utah County Family Photographer | Brooke Bakken Photography | www.brookebakken.com

PS- Find yourself a partner who not only wants to be present for the happy times but also everything in between. Choose to be with someone who won’t walk away when things get hard, but instead rolls their sleeves up alongside you to work it all out as you endure tough times together.

 

Staying on Track

At the beginning of the year, I shared my brand new promo video- filmed by the one and only KALE FITCH! It’s 2019 and I came to step up my game! I committed myself to blogging consistently, elevating my brand and inspiring photographers and mamas alike!

We are already four months into the year and I am happy to say I have stayed on track with the goals I set for myself (at least the blogging part!).

I am doing my best to “KEEP IT REAL”. I try to share a part of myself and sometimes the not-so-glamorous side of being a working mom. And while I LOVE a good Instagram feed and try to stay “on brand,” I also want people to know the REAL me: the girl with a REALLY loud laugh. the girl that loves a good “that’s what she said joke” (and if we are being completely inappropriate, shock value jokes are my jam!); the girl who can keep her calm and composure even when it feels like your session has gone to pot and your kids are out of control.

I want others to see that, while I love to look polished and professional, my sessions are full of jokes, laughter and a little bit of chaos. But have no fear, I thrive in those moments!

Keeping it “Reel”: A Behind the Scenes Blooper Highlight

When Kale delivered my original promo, just like everything he does, I LOVED it! If you have yet to see it, you can view it HERE. Honestly, I love working with him and I am constantly amazed at what he captures and how he tells MY story.

We collaborated and tried a new approach to a promo video this time around. I didn’t want a standard “sit and interview” feel. It didn’t feel genuine to who I am. So, we decided I would have a mic on me the whole time (talk about DICEY) and to let my personality do the “talking”. We shot both, a family and a bride+groom video because I want my clients to know I am here for their journey!

From the time they say I do until the time they announce they are pregnant, and then on to the time they have crazy toddlers running around…I am all in! And let me tell you….these sessions did NOT disappoint!

After we wrapped up with shooting, I looked at Kale like…uh make me look good, k? You better believe he lived up to his side of the bargain! But he didn’t stop there! Kale also went above and beyond with this BLOOPER reel! I have never laughed harder at myself! So, while yes, I am a professional and a businesswoman, know this: I don’t take myself or life too seriously! There is always room for laughter and I will ALWAYS have the loudest laugh in the pack. And I’m okay with that! THIS IS ME!!

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